While AMC’s Comic-Con panel for The Walking Dead isn’t until tomorrow, we’re already getting a few bits and pieces of what to expect in season four of the zombie TV series. We’ve already seen looks at old favorites like Rick Grimes, Daryl Dixon, and Michonne, and today the spotlight is turned on our first look at a new addition to the Walking Dead cast. Entertainment Weekly has posted a shot of Bob Stookey, who appears in the comic book and the “Road to Woodbury” novel. Although fans of The Walking Dead comics will be familiar with the character, the show’s new showrunner Scott Gimple teases a fresh take on Stookey.
Actor Lawrence Gilliard Jr. (The Wire) will play the role of Stookey, a former Army medic. Unlike his comic book counterpart, the show’s version of Stookey doesn’t hail from Woodbury. He will have actually met Daryl Dixon and joined Rick’s group weeks before the events of the upcoming fourth season premiere episode, “30 Days Without an Accident.”
According to Gimple, “His backstory is not entirely the same as in the comic and the novel. I think he’s seen things go bad over and over, and winding up in this stable place doesn’t shake him from his experience. He struggles with that.” Gimple also adds that the character is “haunted” by his past (who on The Walking Dead isn’t?).
It’s going to be interesting to see how the new season of The Walking Dead handles the new characters. Problematic characters from seasons past — such as Lori and Andrea — are gone from the series, so seeing new faces like Lawrence Gilliard Jr.’s Bob Stookey should be very refreshing. If you’re familiar with HBO’s acclaimed series The Wire, you know Gilliard Jr. has the range to play complex and engaging. “You can see there’s something deeper and darker that’s going on with this character, just from the first episode,” says Gilliard. “We don’t really know what it is. We just know he’s got some issues that he’s dealing with.”
In the comic book, Bob Stookey is a hardened former Army medic turned town drunk in Woodbury. He was also The Governor’s right-hand man, but was asked to stay behind during the assault on the prison, to watch over the Governor’s zombie daughter. The character’s fate is unknown after the Governor’s second assault on the prison.
Meanwhile, at San Diego Comic-Con, AMC’s The Walking Dead panel is scheduled for tomorrow, July 19, in Hall H. The Walking Dead panel usually features a first-look sizzle reel or trailer of the new season, so this year is expected to be no different.
The full cast and crew from The Walking Dead are expected to participate in the AMC panel, including Andrew Lincoln, Norman Reedus, Steven Yeun, Lauren Cohan, Danai Gurira, David Morrissey, Chad Coleman, Scott Wilson, executive producer/new showrunner Scott Gimple, executive producer Gale Anne Hurd, executive producer Robert Kirkman, executive producer David Alpert, and executive producer and special effects make-up supervisor Greg Nicotero. The Talking Dead‘s Chris Hardwick will moderate.
The Walking Dead will return with 16 new episodes for season four this October on AMC.